[Talk-de] Hello from England

SteveC steve at asklater.com
Mo Jun 29 16:50:35 UTC 2009


So, first I apologise for writing in English. My German is very poor.  
Several people have volunteered to translate back and forth.

Recently I had the luck and privilege to travel to some places in  
Germany, Italy and other countries and meet OSMers. This was very  
educational and I learnt a lot about how the different communities  
work in these places. There are some subtle differences between  
different countries and how OSM works in each one. Some have more  
mapping parties. Some have meetings like Stammtisch. Some have PR.  
Some organise on the mailing list. These are healthy differences.

One thing I noticed a lot everywhere though was some misunderstandings  
on what the foundation, the OSMF, are doing. It feels a little like  
FUD[1]. These misunderstandings related to the license, the servers,  
the working groups, the software, the State of the Map conference and  
other things.

What I quickly found was that these misunderstandings could be  
corrected easily with some discussion. It seems I and the Foundation  
have tried to include people from Germany many times, but we have not  
tried hard enough. This is partly because the volunteers from the  
foundation are already doing a lot of work and are busy we sometimes  
overlook things. It was a big surprise to me that people I met in  
Germany said I should post to talk-de@ in English and this would be a  
good thing for example. We have always assumed you would not like this  
in a big way. So I learnt something very important.

So, in the spirit of communication I would like to say I am here to  
answer any open questions you have. You might have heard that I am  
Evil[2] or that we are changing license to be Evil like CDDB[3]. In  
general this is not the case, and we are OSMers like you who are  
trying to make it better, safer, more reliable and of course map more  
things. So please assume anything here you see as negative is not  
meant to be.

Let me tell you a story about the Italian OSM.it conference I went to  
a few weeks ago. They had a lawyer do a talk about the new ODbL  
license to check that it was not Evil and what the points of it were.  
Half way through the lawyer said something like "yes you should use it  
as it does basically the same as CC-BY-SA but it much better and  
applies to data better". There was visible relief and smiles from the  
audience when he said this. I just turned up to the conference without  
any warning and had nothing to do with it. I have cc'd a leading  
Italian OSMer, Simone, who can verify this. I don't think I will be  
able to bring a similar happiness to you all by talking on the mailing  
list here, but I hope it helps.

So, can I answer any questions or do you have any comments?



[1] - http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fear,_Uncertainty_and_Doubt
[2] - http://fakestevec.blogspot.com/
[3] - http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gracenote (this could do with a  
better link I think?)

Mehr Informationen über die Mailingliste Talk-de